When thinking about factors that distinguish top performing companies, the root of their success often can be traced to the human equation. But how many companies are able to tap more than a fraction of their workforce potential? How many are able to take advantage of latent talents, ideas and contributive strengths waiting to be switched on? How many are able to unleash the power of remote collaboration & virtual team management? The companies that find the means to use a larger fraction of their human resources will undoubtedly supersede their competitors. That is their edge in the global economy.
With increased globalisation, virtual leadership has started gaining a strong foothold in recent times. As the workplace evolves, the techniques for managing employees are changing. Today’s leaders and managers are faced with a different set of challenges for managing employees who work in various locations across the globe or telecommute. Managing in the virtual environment can be quite a daunting undertaking.
The biggest challenge with remote collaboration & virtual team management is actually to maintain quality and productivity across all participants, despite the physical and cultural distance. Other associated issues are operational. Indeed, you do need to ensure that everyone is working on “the same project”. Social issues may also come into play: If the teams adopt an “us versus them” mindset, they might well wind up working at cross-purposes. All these challenges may finally be exacerbated by time zone and language differences that make collaboration and real-time communication even more difficult.
Advances in information and communications technologies have enabled businesses to become truly global in scope. There is an abundance of technology available today for collaboration. However, a company’s culture and processes that encourage people to share work in a productive manner are central to effective collaboration.
So how are top performing organisations avoiding the many pitfalls of remote collaboration & virtual team management and what are the key to success for adapting to this complex and ever-changing working environment?